Chestnut shipping

Nope. They have clearly promised to send the phone to all EU countries from within Europe. Not just to German clients. And I have proof for that. Both announcements and emails when I asked them.


I am not doubting you, but do you have a reference for that? All I remember is the above quoted:

On July 27, 2019 @nicole.faerber said, “Concerning shipping and handling from and within EUR, like I said, we are actively working on it and I sincerely hope that we will have this sorted out until we start shipping the phone. If plans work out, then we will be able to ship from a place which has a EU VAT tax ID…” (emphasis mine)

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The distinction may not be relevant because perhaps no EU customers will be supplied from within the EU, at least for Chestnut.

In the future, who can say? They may still be attempting to get on top of the EU bureaucracy in time for Evergreen.

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In my broken English, I wouldn’t not define/register this as something attempting (to get on top) but as focusing to succeed on their plans/efforts, IMHO. For example, in Germany exists the reduced VAT rate of 7% and it is based on EU regulation (Supplier’s declaration of conformity based on DIN EN ISO/IEC 17050-1:2010-08). Evergreen might not come under 19% of VAT as it is shown within in case of this fair trade electronics product, but who knows (as this is might be something attempting, expensive and not easy to achieve). Link provided thanks to @balduin. Any company within EU that follows related regulation(s) can get there, but it’s not easy to get there though. We are familiar with the current situation on the market and therefore please don’t consider this as pushing things even more in the wrong direction, in contrary. Purism is doing already their best, I believe so, of what is achievable by following established legal rules/certifications on the EU free market.

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From my experiences,

Crowdfunding Reward + free delivrery cost = 0 Importation Taxes/fees + 0 VAT = 0€

We are talking about a reward here, not a purchase!. We did not buy anything.

Of course, you’ll have to prove it to the custom as I did for my Pine64 by following the appropriate procedure then three days later the parcel was delivered. They didn’t even open it…

Here in Belgium, if the total amount is less than 25€ =>> no importation taxes. if the amount is more than 25€ but less than 125€ a flat fee is applied + VAT.
More than 125€, the fee will go to the moon…
In both cases, VAT is applied on the delivrery cost if there is any.
Also, If you have paid in a foreing currency, you’ll have to do the convertion between both currencies by applying the convertion rate of the day of the purchase(s).

If Purism has chosen a carrier that is adding more shit in the fan, tis something completly different.

“Are you trying to threaten or scare purism here?”

Well these are your words not mine. I am not. I’ve been more than patient until now as many others probably have been too. I am starting to get tired about how this project has been going on and there still are too much “may be” for the future. So, I did make both a warning and a joke/playword by quoting some reply from GoT. That’s it. Now, if you want to see something else in it that’s fine with me.


Doesn’t matter. Again, what we are supposed to receive(if we will…) is a reward.
ONE reward! Getting more than one would obviously be considered as a purchase with the intention to sell them afterward.
We did not invest in anything. This was most certainly not an IPO.


You are absolutly right.
On the crowdfunding page, Purism cleary said/claimed “free worldwide shipping” and also in the FAQ about the shipping cost and the delivrery from Germany to UK/EU contry.

Here are my printscreens that are confirming these statements:


What’s funny to me is that you

  • insist you made a donation, not a purchase
  • think about getting a refund of your “donation” two years later because the “gift” might cost taxes and is therefore different from how the gift was promised

I think you can’t have it both ways

Anyway, I don’t think you get less than what was promised. Inside is also a link to the archived campaign page, no screenshots needed.
Overall I think we made a good deal.



IDK what to think but that your whole anectodal experience is just a testimony of one agent / agency incompetence.
There is a reason why I had a smiley after “investor” assumption. Of course I didn’t mean it literally. The point I was trying to make that original “backers” or rather early buyers paid the price below the market value at the time of delivery and if willing, could make a hundred to 150$ easily if decided to sell it.

Your argument that this phone purchase is a “reward” is not withstanding.
When you transfered money to Purism there were many options. Onlly one was with no strings attached. I believe it said “support” and there were a few amounts to contribute to the project (not sure - $10/50/100). The rest was tied to specific product to be received if the project survives. And for a good half of the campaign (if not longer) it was shown as pre-order during the checkout. Even though you ran a risk of the failed campaign , the company was still obligated to deliver a product to you once available. And once delivered , there is a return period (2-4 weeks) if something is wrong as well as a 1 year warranty and optional refund as well. My Jan 3rd 2019 pre order was very clear about this contractual relation.

It is not a question of getting more or less. The point is that things must go they way they are supposed to go. As they’ve been claimed.

There are two questions though:

1- Was it realy a crowdfunding campain (as “they” claimed it was) and in accordance to the US laws or not?


  • yes, that’s great! No importation taxes on a reward for EU citizens no matter how parcel is delivered or from where it does come from.
  • not, we’ve been f@#$! up.

2- Have they realy partnered with a german reseller? Are they still partners?


  • yes, it’s even better. All that the partner have to do, is to send the parcels all around the EU.
  • not, you already know my point.

Sadly, for what I read here and there it seems that it is not the case or not anymore?..


“…your whole anectodal experience is just a testimony of one agent / agency incompetence.”

You’re right, you know me so well. Actualy, I even never participated in a crowdfunding project… at all. Plus, the guy was my brother in law whom doesn’t even work for the governement… Wait! I don’t have any brother in law!? Damn, I am doing it again!

FYI, pre-orders started right after the campain was concluded. There was no transition just modifications on some informations that appeared on the page.

Next time you contribute(financialy I mean) to a project or buy anything take some printscreens or screencast while you do it. You’ll see it could realy help afterward.

I promise, I’ll stop teasing you after this one. Let’s say it is my christmas reward to you :slight_smile: En->Frécompense Fr->En


I agree, I also was totally convinced it was a “you lose your money if things go wrong” crowdfund. Was surprised that I could get back my money.

So I also find the assumption legit, that this was not a buy and could be handled as reward/present. Or in fact currently even as Beta testing hardware.

I was also surprised by the additional taxes I would have to pay, when it came to it. Not that it matters anymore. But I guess this I could have known, maybe I even knew and forgot about it again…

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Well, I did not see any of that, when I was going to get it and eventually pullled the trigger this January.
You can make a legitimate claim, then. :slight_smile:
Though, it’s still a “loophole” to avoid proper taxing and import fees. I don’t see why it should be treated differently than a gift I’m sending there. The only advantage - difference is that as an individual I can send it as “used” and in open box , so they can’t determine the exact value and have to base it off the stated one.
Just weird, how they can let go of the money that easy :slight_smile: at least it’s benefiting someone.
So, what would be the end cost (out of your pocket) in your country for receiving this phone ?

@Debcool has a point. The initial backers of this project took a chance on putting out money up against this venture knowing if things took a downward turn we would be out that investment. It was a risk I took initially, a calculated risk but a risk nonetheless. We didn’t buy a phone because there was no phone to purchase. We were buying into an idea because at that point that’s all it was.


It shouldn’t be about how you get something, but what you are getting and from where. Gifts, lottery or whatever it is, it’s still going through customs and getting taxed. Of course there are exceptions for specific items like some personal medical devices, etc.
I just didn’t know that some places do honor - grant the exclusion on something like this.


Hi guys (girls?),

One thing that almost all the people don’t know is the importance of the vocabulary (something that I learned the hard way as many other did). Each word have very specific meaning in each domains (science, contract!! …) especialy when it comes to laws. Ask a lawyer, he/she will tell you that.

The biggest sources of that problem come from the mass media, business company, politics… (the way they use words + how they tell the message = Marketing, propaganda… *). The consequence is the misinterpretation that are made by the people because of the *. Afterwards, it propagates very quickly among the people and at the end becomes the “normal” meaning but it’s not.

A reward is not a purchase, not a gift nor an investment.
A backer is not a buyer and so on… (I think you’ve got these one now, he? :wink:).

A crowdfunding campain has its own vocabulary too(that was used by Purism during the campain. Just go on kickstarter or indiegogo and compare, you’ll see)

The difficulties reside in many areas as you can imagine. Generaly speaking, the first trap is always at the begining but there could be more then one on the path and It is very tricky or impossible to get out of it when you have accepted the conditions unless you have proof. Sometimes, it’s not even enough…

I am not saying that it is the case here! What I am saying is that many things have been and still are quite nebulous regarding this “project”.
Especialy about the Invoice, the carrier that may add importation taxes even though Purism has a partner (who knows who?) for the UK/EU backers. Things could be different depending in witch batch you’re in. Where is the campain FAQ? Can’t find it anymore. …

That’s why I ask for an official document made and signed by Purism stating that it was not a purchase but a reward. It would help, at least for some of the non US backers, to prouve and eventualy avoid taxes that don’t apply on a reward from a crowdfunding campain.

Once again, if what Pusrism has claimed is true, there is no problem for the UK/EU backers. All Purism has to do is to send the devices to their partner here (at their costs, not ours!) then the partner send the device to each of us (at their cost or Purism).

Another project I backed in 2013, they claimed a partnership here in EU and it was true. They did what they claimed they will do. The parcel was send from a reseller in the EU and that was it. No question ask, no taxes, no headacke, nothing nada… Smooth! Everyone of us was just happy!

Ok, I am done for the day and on the subject…

Have a nice day and a happy new year!



an investment return then ?

well there was no finished product at the time we agreed to wire $ in Purism account but that means we ARE investors … or rather GAMBLERS :smiley: :wink:

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Hi There,

your experience might suggest otherwise, but the EC commission has a very clear opinion on that (pdf file):
See page 7 talking specifically about reward-based crowdfunding, given that you are even considering a refund, there is a clear link between your payment and the reward; and therefore taxes apply. The gist is (

In its response, the VAT Committee has said it unanimously agrees that reward-based crowdfunding, where the person giving funds to a crowdfunding campaign (“the contributor”) receives in exchange for a contribution a non-financial reward in the form of goods or services from the person receiving funds from contributors through a crowdfunding campaign (“the entrepreneur”), shall constitute a taxable transaction for VAT purposes, provided that there is a direct link between the supply of goods or services and its corresponding consideration collected by way of crowdfunding, and that the entrepreneur is a taxable person acting as such.

If you look at your screenshots you can see that purism very carefully worded “shipping is free”, “no shipping costs” etc… which is technically not the same as VAT (and VAT collecting fees). We might have expected (or hoped for) something different, but they have only promised free shipping so far.

Merry Christmas and an exciting next year everybody!

P.S. the German reselling partner stated (in German) in April that it no longer resells purism stuff, so I don’t think they have a European base…


I am a little confused about the approach of people here thinking that they should get the goods without paying tax. You don’t have to convince anyone who participates in this forum or anyone who works for Purism. You have to convince the relevant governing body.

Generally speaking, if there were simple ways of avoiding this type of tax then a) every company would already be doing it and b) the government would close the loophole very quickly!

It is said that the only two certainties in life are “death and taxes”. So assuming you live for another six months and get your Librem 5 then you should expect to pay tax on it (for those countries that apply this type of tax).

Longer term it probably is possible to avoid the VAT-collecting fees i.e. if Purism has a sufficiently high volume of sales in your country to make the effort to understand, register for, implement and collect VAT at the time of payment for that country.


Even if it might look like self-explanatory that duty rate is zero, let me for a moment change title of this thread to “Chestnut receiving” in order to get who is doing what before someone pays for individual product (unit) VAT and finally receive pre-ordered phone (way out before starting to play any games on it). When receiving package to EU from non-EU country first of all we need to pay for customs duty rate (besides tax for package delivery amount). Just afterwards, on top of this calculation, is added particular country VAT percentage. This all (customs duty + CIF + VAT) needs to be payed on top of the product price when receiving new product within EU. At least, by simplifying, there needs to be specified TARIC number provided on CN23 customs declaration form, field Nr. (7). Anyway, shipping coordination in their whole parts should be clear (to all involved parties), in particular with electronic devices importing to EU. Bottom line here is to take into account that within EU exists, and needs to be taken into account, Calculation of customs duties:
To be able to calculate the customs duties to be paid when trading goods, three factors have to be taken into consideration.

  • The value of the goods
  • The customs tariff to be applied
  • The origin of the goods

“At present, the electronic customs tariff (Elektronischer Zolltarif-online - EZT-online) which is made available by the Federal Fiscal Authority, but only in German) and the TARIC (Integrated Tariff of the European Communities) can be accessed online for information free of charge in order to determine rates of duty.”


Shipping window for Chestnut: December 3rd – December 31st of this year.


What should I try to tell them? That Chestnut means developer device and that: “I’m not sure if it has some CE markings on it, but that I will, for sure, have phone’s cellular baseband kill switch always off.” Customs Office might destroy it anyway (no VAT to be payed, only garbage fee), is this what are you suggesting (in order to protect my investment)?

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OK. I assumed that not much would change between now and Evergreen. I don’t think Purism have really talked about what is going on behind the scenes with byzantine EU regulations etc.

Or keep your head down and pay your VAT?

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